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Bluetooth Driver Troubleshooting Tips for Windows 10

The Windows 10 Bluetooth driver allows you to wirelessly connect Bluetooth devices to your computer. Unfortunately, Bluetooth device drivers can occasionally fail to connect or become intermittent. Unresponsive Bluetooth Drivers on Windows 10 computers can become a real burden, especially when devices are supposed to automatically reconnect when in range.

windows 10 bluetooth driver

What Type of Windows 10 Bluetooth Driver Issues Does This Guide Cover?

Consider troubleshooting your Bluetooth if any of the following apply:

  • Bluetooth cannot be turned on or off or the icon is missing
  • Bluetooth stops showing in the Device Manager
  • Bluetooth stops working after a Windows 10 upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1
  • Bluetooth stops working after an update

If any of the above-mentioned applies, continue on reading to fix Bluetooth problems on Windows 10.

  1. Make Sure Bluetooth Is Turned On

    It is important to make sure that your Bluetooth was not inadvertently switched off. Fortunately, it is easy to check by following the steps:

      1. Click the Start button and search for Settings.
      2. On Windows Settings select Devices.
      3. From the device menu, navigate to Bluetooth & other devices and make sure that the Bluetooth slider is switched on. (If the Bluetooth slide is already on, sometimes toggling the switch off and back on after a few moments remedies the issue.)

    Note: some laptops may contain an external Bluetooth switch.

  2. Turn Off Airplane Mode

    Airplane mode could have been inadvertently switched on. Laptops normally come with an Airplane button that can be toggled on or off, or it can be turned off with the following steps:

    1. Navigate to the Start button and search for Settings.
    2. From Settings select Network & Internet.
    3. Navigate to Airplane mode and make sure that the Airplane mode toggle is set to on.
  3. Check Your Bluetooth Device

    Certain devices may not have Bluetooth enabled by default. It is important to check your product information on turning on your product’s Bluetooth. Common device Bluetooth remedies include:

    • Turning the device off, wait a moment and turn it on again
    • Making sure the device is in range
    • Keeping your device away from unshielded USB devices that can interfere with Bluetooth

    If your device’s Bluetooth appears to be functional continue on reading.

    Re-install Your Device

    Re-Installing your Bluetooth device can occasionally fix the issue.

    1. As in step 1 go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices.
    2. Other devices navigate to the device that is having issues. Select Remove device > Yes.

    How to Reconnect Your Device

      1.  In the settings menu click Add Bluetooth & other devices.
      2. Click Bluetooth.
      3. Click on the device you want to add.

    Note: some devices will require a pin to pair. The default pin is usually 0000 or 1234. Check your device documentation for exact information. When prompted enter the pin into the keyboard, or if pairing a phone, make sure the number on the phone and computer matches.

  4. Special Case: Fixing Bluetooth Audio

    The connectivity between a Bluetooth speaker may come into question when it glitches or produces low-quality audio. Occasionally, this can be caused by having the Bluetooth settings open to discovery mode. The connectivity can normally be remedied by closing settings so that the Bluetooth is not constantly searching for new devices.

    Bluetooth may also run into issues if trying to do multiple things at once (such as running transfer files and audio at once). Bluetooth is not fast and is not designed to handle large data speeds.

    If the speaker is paired but not playing, a different audio device might be set to default. Fix the issue with the following steps:

    1. Turn on the speaker.
    2. Search for Sound in Windows Start.
    3. Select your audio device and Set Default. Click Apply, then Ok.

    The sound should now begin playing through your device. If it doesn’t, read on for further troubleshooting.

  5. Run the Windows 10 Troubleshooter

    Depending on the Bluetooth issue, the Windows Bluetooth troubleshooter may be able to resolve Bluetooth problems with the following steps:

    1. From the Start button select Settings.
    2. In Settings navigate to Update & Security.
    3. Select Troubleshoot from the sidebar, then select Bluetooth.
    4. Follow the prompts for a Windows guided solution. If that does not work, continue on to the next section.
  6. Check Your Bluetooth Drivers

    Bluetooth driver issues may prevent connectivity across devices. It is often easier and saves time to have automatic driver software updates. For those that wish to update on their own continue reading.

    How Do You Re-Install Bluetooth Drivers on Windows 10?

      1. Navigate to the Start menu, type Device Manager, then click Device Manager from the results.
      2. From Device Manager, click the Bluetooth drop down, right-click the Bluetooth adapter, then select Update driver.
      3. Now there are two options. If you want Windows to find your driver, select Search automatically for updated driver software.
      4. When the installation is finished, navigate to the Start menu and click the Power icon, then Restart.

    Note: In the event that Windows cannot find the new Bluetooth driver, we recommend updating your computer drivers automatically. In any other case, continue on to the next section.

    How Do You Re-Install Bluetooth Drivers on Windows 10 (Continued)

    Windows will not always be able to automatically update drivers. The manual method can help.

    It will require you to have download an .exe file prior that contains drivers from the device’s manufacturer. The file should include a .inf extension and a .sys extension. The following steps can help you locate your device driver:

    1. On the Start menu search for Device Manager >> Right click the Bluetooth device and select Properties.
    2. Click the Details tab.
    3. Go to Property and select Hardware Ids.
    4. Go to Value and find the hardware identification number. The number should have the form USBVID_{number}&PID_(number}, then copy the value.
    5. Search the internet for your hardware ID value to determine the name and manufacturer of the device.
    6. From the manufacturer’s website, install and download a driver compatible with Windows 10.
    7. From the Device Manager, click Browse my computer for driver software. Navigate to the location of your files when prompted.
  7. What to Do When the Bluetooth Icon Is Missing

    On rare occasions, the Bluetooth Icon will be missing from settings and your system tray. The Bluetooth Icon can be restored by following the steps.

    1. Just as in the previous section navigate to the Device Manager by clicking the Start button > type Device Manager > click the Bluetooth drop down.
    2. Click Uninstall device.
    3. Navigate to the Start menu, then select Power and Restart.
    4. Windows will restart and attempt to re-install the driver, which typically makes the icon reappear. If the driver is not automatically installing, continue to step 5.
    5. Navigate back to >> Start>> Device Manager >> and click Scan for hardware changes. This will allow Windows to Detect and reinstall your Bluetooth drivers.

    Continue on to the next section if troubleshooting still fails to resolve the issue.

  8. Consider a System Restore

    Unintended system changes can interfere with your Bluetooth. Fortunately, with Windows System Restore, you can revert your computer to a period that worked earlier by following the steps:

    1. On the Start menu, type Recovery
    2. Navigate to Open System Restore.
    3. Follow the prompts and click Next.
    4. Select a Restore point and follow the prompts.
  9. Final Consideration: Consider Automating Your Bluetooth Drivers!

    While many factors can contribute to a dysfunctional Bluetooth Drive,  automatic driver updates can help alleviate future problems. With our recommended driver support, your Bluetooth make and model can be matched to the correct manufacture automatically. Consider automating your Bluetooth driver updates to save time and avoid the frustration in selecting the correct drivers.